Caithness And North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
5th May 2019
Week Commencing 29 April 2019.
Energy & Business Services:
As we see positive progress with the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm development, and the development of both Moray East and West projects, a new initiative to support supply chain companies to learn more about opportunities will be held in Thurso on 13th May. The DeepWind Offshore Supply Chain Cluster is one of 8 in the UK (one of two in Scotland) that are being created under the UK Offshore Wind Sector Deal and the DeepWind cluster is the North of Scotland supply chain cluster with the developers that are involved in the projects in the Moray Firth and on the Aberdeenshire coast. It will look at the deep wind opportunity covering both fixed bottom and floating wind and is also looking out to the next offshore wind leasing round, ScotWind, which could see at least one project off the Caithness coast. Companies wishing to attend can register at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cluster-supply-chain-roadshow-tickets-61286468477
I met senior colleagues from Scottish Government's Culture, Tourism and Major Events Directorate this week as they visited various sites in the Highland Council area. In my role as chair of the North Coast 500 Working Group we discussed current business growth around the route, as well as some of the pressures being felt in particular areas. I invited David Whiteford, Chair of the North Highland Initiative, to attend our meeting to give a flavour of the work that NHI has been doing to support communities to address challenges and realise opportunities.
Also this week the Queen Elizabeth Castle of Mey Trust announced the opening of its new 10 bedroom Granary Lodge accommodation, which was officially launched by HRH Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, and will open for business tomorrow (Monday 6th May 2019). The multi-million pound development will also act as a year round wedding and conference venue, offering further economic benefits to the north economy. https://www.johnogroat-journal.co.uk/news/prince-charles-opens-luxury-granary-lodge-development-177467/
As part of an ongoing process of helping communicate progress with the delivery of aspects of our economic transition programme CNSRP's partners work together to generate news stories for local, regional and national media. I also speak on a regular basis to individuals and organisations across the area to update on progress. This week:
It was great to visit North Lands Creative Glass in Lybster this week, and to discuss its current activities and future plans with Karen Phillips and her team. Steadily approaching its 25th anniversary, the organisation continues to be a UK Centre of Excellence in its field, and plays a significant role in promoting the north of Scotland on an international stage. But it also plays an important role on a local level too, with its community ambassadors (funded through the Aspiring Communities programme) and its fantastic Community Design House space meaning it offers huge opportunity to the Lybster locality. More at https://northlandscreative.co.uk/who-we-are/
Eann Sinclair - Area Manager, Caithness & Sutherland
Start-up businesses in the Outer Hebrides could receive a welcome injection of capital from a new joint initiative by Business Gateway Outer Hebrides and Highlands and Islands enterprise. The Outer Hebrides Young Entrepreneur Start-Up Scheme (OHYESS), will provide grants of up to £2,500 to support entrepreneurs age 18-40 to set up businesses in key sectors across the Outer Hebrides.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has welcomed an international technology-led services and payments specialist as the newest tenant to Thurso Business Park. The agency has developed the park to enable local firms to expand and to attract new companies into the area.
Residents of Britain's most remote inhabited island have stepped up efforts to move towards a cleaner energy system. The people of Foula off Shetland have signed up to the Clean Energy Transition Pledge, which commits them to producing a decarbonisation plan over the next 12 months.
The authors of far-reaching 2018 report on potential investment priorities at Cairngorm Mountain have reviewed and updated their findings. US-based consultants SE Group were commissioned last year by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), owner of Cairngorm estate.
Scotland's enterprise agencies have launched ambitious plans to help build a more economically vibrant country. Collectively, and as part of the broader skills and enterprise community, Scottish Enterprise (SE) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) have set out how they will invest to support sustainable and inclusive growth in every part of Scotland.
In April 2019 Peter Faccenda took over the role of Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership manager. He takes over from Eann Sinclair who was appointment as Caithness and Sutherland area manager for Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
Weeks commencing 20th & 27th May Energy & Business Services: The Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project this week reached an output capacity of 587.9MW (its installed capacity is 588MW), which is the highest output from any renewable source in Scotland. And as the construction phase of the Beatrice Offshore project comes to an end it is good to see that offshore piling operations have begun for the Moray East offshore windfarm development.
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A new £4.5m life sciences building was officially opened at Inverness Campus by the Deputy First Minister Mr John Swinney, on Monday 20 May 2019. Called ‘Solasta House', it offers flexible space for new and expanding technology and life sciences companies and is already home to eight companies and could be 75 percent full by the summer.
SpaceHub Sutherland: The team continued with a programme of drop-in events on the ground around the area this week, running drop-in events at the Village Hall in Skerray and the Kinlochbervie Hotel. For details on the project and the programme of events see http://www.hie.co.uk/regional-information/area-information/caithness-and-sutherland/uk-space-port/community-engagement.html Energy & Business Services: As previously highlighted, a meeting was held in Thurso to highlight the newly-established DeepWind Offshore Supply Chain Cluster.
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